East Hampton Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Meth Production Charge
June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GARY J. MESSIER, age 30, of 138 Mott Hill Road, East Hampton, Connecticut, waived indictment and pleaded guilty today to possession of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. MESSIER’s plea of guilty was accepted by United States Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis this afternoon in New Haven federal court.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, on June 8, 2005, MESSIER was arrested at his residence when federal, state and local law enforcement agents arrived to execute a federal search warrant. MESSIER today admitted that, on that date, he knowingly possessed at least 10 grams of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
In announcing today’s guilty plea, U.S. Attorney O’Connor recognized the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, East Hampton Police Department and Connecticut State Police who investigated this matter.
“This is a textbook example of federal, state and local law enforcement working together, which is critical to our efforts of preventing meth production from gaining a foothold in Connecticut,” U.S. Attorney O’Connor stated.
U.S. Attorney O’Connor also recognized the investigative assistance of an astute Portland, Connecticut, farm supply store owner who contacted law enforcement after his suspicions were raised by individuals who were purchasing large amounts of iodine solution.
“Meth is a synthetic drug with ingredients that can be purchased legally,” U.S. Attorney O’Connor said. “Therefore, we implore anyone with knowledge of suspicious purchasing activity of any of the products that are used in meth production to contact law enforcement. Without the vital assistance of this one business owner, it’s impossible to know how long this meth operation would have been able to exist as both a toxic and explosive hazard to the residents of East Hampton. His actions may very well have saved lives.”
Ingredients used during the production of methamphetamine include pseudoephedrine (cold tablets), ephedrine, diet aids, lye (drain cleaner, such as Red Devil lye), acetone, toluene (brake cleaner), iodine solution or crystals, camp stove fuel (Coleman Fuel), alcohol (rubbing alcohol or gasoline additives), ether (starting fluid), paint thinner, freon, benzene, hydriotic acid, sulfuric acid (battery acid), muriatic acid, red phosphorous, reactive metals (lithium from batteries or sodium), and chloroform.
When MESSIER is sentenced by United States District Judge Janet B. Arterton on January 23, 2006, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Two other individuals were also arrested on June 8, 2005, as a result of this investigation. They have been charged by criminal complaint and are entitled to a fair trial at which it is the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.